After Friday’s two practice sessions, MotoGP riders, while praising the layout of the track, predicted that the weekend would be a gruelling one physically.
The nearly five-kilometre-long Buddh International Circuit proved challenging with its long straights and flowing corners as the riders tried to find the ideal racing line.
However, the more significant concern for the riders was the physical toll it would take on them in the hot conditions with the temperatures in the mid-thirties and high humidity.
Speaking after topping the Practice session, Luca Marini felt qualifying up front would hold the key to a good race so riders can run in clear air. “Qualifying will be challenging, and it will be the key to making a good race. If you follow another bike, it is finished because of the temperature of the engine and the brakes (will go up).
Reigning champion Bagnaia added, “The race is at 3.30 p.m., and it is going to be very, very hot and could be a problem with the rear tyre with over-temperature. The most demanding thing will be the heat. On the back straight, you feel your throat and legs burning. In my case, it was quite demanding, and we must prepare for everything.”
Aprilia rider Aleix Espargaro added, “I don’t know about the other, but it was over the limit for us. The heat the bikes are producing is crazy. You can’t race after more than eight or nine laps, so I don’t know how we will finish the race tomorrow (Sprint race is 12 laps), and I don’t even want to think about Sunday (24 laps).”
Aleix’s teammate Maverick Vinales echoed a similar view, saying it is more challenging than other hot venues like Malaysia. “This one, I suffer more, and I struggle. I mean, I can do the race, but it is demanding.”
Second-placed rider in the standings, Jorge Martin, said, “On the physical side, you can’t push 100 per cent of the laps, and it will be very difficult in the last eight or ten laps.”
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